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Can I charge my electric vehicle for free?

There are ways to charge your electric car for free across the UK – you just need to know where to look

EV charging

Charging your electric vehicle (EV) will become second nature once you adjust, and you might be surprised to hear there are actually ways you can charge your car for free across the UK.

Even if you can’t always rely on free chargers to stay boosted, charging an EV does often work out cheaper than filling up with fuel. It’s an added bonus that you can grab a free charge here and there – something that you definitely can’t expect if you drive a fuel-powered car!

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How to find free electric vehicle charging points

Finding free EV charging points isn’t a hard task – in fact, there are apps and websites out there that will do it for you.

It’s a good idea to use one of these tools ahead of time to track down your closest free EV chargers, or ones that you can expect to pass on your next road trip.

It’s important to remember that free chargers are often slower and are usually in high-demand, so you might want to pick some back-up charging locations if you can’t locate a free one.

Where to find free electric vehicle charging points

On average, you’re more likely to find fast and slow chargers that are free to use compared to rapid chargers. While rapid chargers are more convenient, you might be willing to go for a slower charge if that means you’ll be saving money.

You’ll often find free chargers at attractions that are trying to entice customers. Places like museums, zoos, theatres and leisure centres, for example, may have charging points that are free to use while you visit. Some pubs, restaurants and cafes are also getting on board with free EV charging – check online in your area to see the best options.

Supermarkets and shopping centres are usually a good option too, so you can get a top-up while you shop.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts are also likely to offer free charging – just check before you make a booking so you can save money on charging while you stay.

One of the best options for hunting down a free charge point is to browse car parks. They're likely to offer free EV charging, and you might even be lucky enough to find one at your workplace.

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What’s the cheapest way to charge my electric vehicle?

The cheapest way to charge your electric vehicle would be to rely completely on free charging points, but this might not be the most convenient. You’ll often find that only slow or fast chargers are free of charge, and you might not fancy hanging around in public for long enough to get a full charge on a regular basis.

Alternatively, a home charger paired with shopping around for the best electricity tariff is a good bet. You can even find out the off-peak times in your area and plan your charging within them to get some discount. You might also consider a specific EV tariff, or even solar panels for some real money-saving energy.

Is it expensive to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging your electric car will depend on a lot of factors, including the model, where you choose to charge it, and how often you’ll need to be charging.

If you’ll be using your car for the school run or daily commute, plus the other errands that come with day-to-day life, you’ll probably find that one charge will do you just fine for the week. This will cost around £15 for a full charge, but this will vary depending on your electricity tariff and model.

As cost-of-living prices rise across the UK, it’s likely that the price of charging your EV will go up. Using our money-saving tips for getting a boost will definitely help you keep within your budget.

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